309. THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT.
THOU SHALT NOT KILL.
In the natural sense, this commandment "Thou shalt not kill" means not to kill a man, and not to inflict upon him any wound from which he may die, also not to maim his body. It means also not to inflict any deadly harm upon his name and fame, since with many fame and life go hand in hand. In a broader natural sense, murder means enmity, hatred, and revenge, which breathe slaughter; for in them murder lies concealed as fire in wood under ashes. Infernal fire is nothing else; hence the expressions, to be inflamed with hatred, to burn with revenge. These passions are murder in intention, not in act; but if fear of the law or of retaliation and revenge were removed from them, they would break forth into act, especially if there is treachery or ferocity in the intention. That hatred is murder, is evident from these words of the Lord:
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment. But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother rashly shall be in danger of the judgment. But whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council, and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of the hell of fire (Matt. 5:21, 22).
This is because whatever pertains to the intention pertains also to the will, and so essentially to the deed.